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Note: I finished this post about 6 months after our trip. As is often the case, I’m frequently delayed in my writing–sometimes during and almost always after our trips.

For our final day in Quito, we planned a fairly relaxing day knowing that we’d be flying back home late in the evening (after midnight). Indeed, since we were departing so late and the hotel room was fairly cheap, I opted to keep it for an extra evening to give us a place to relax before departing around 9:30 for the flight.

Our day began with breakfast in the Marriott executive lounge. After breakfast, we walked to the nearby Parque La Carolina, which is home to the Quito Botanical Gardens.

The gardens were lovely.

After visiting the gardens, we stopped by a local shopping mall and browsed the goods on offer. As I mentioned in my previous post, some items (locally produced or cheaply imported) are more affordable here, but I’d imagine one would sacrifice much of the lower cost of living savings in Ecuador if they continued to purchase major American or foreign brand goods that are multiples of the price back home.

After the mall and lunch, we returned to the hotel where Emerson and I went swimming in the lovely, heated pool:

Pretty nice on a cool-ish and windy day at 9,000ft of altitude!

For dinner, we returned to our favorite Crepes and Waffles. Emerson and I shared a delicious dessert:

Unfortunately, the journey home was a little less than ideal. Our already late flight out of Quito was delayed by a late arriving aircraft. The flight was also a bit turbulent due to weather in the Caribbean, making it a little more difficult to sleep on an already short flight. We landed in Ft Lauderdale to be greeted to chaos and delays at immigration, which seemed to be undergoing some sort of renovation. Blah!

Ultimately, we made it to the car and drove home with minimal hassle. I felt surprisingly good despite the lack of sleep. And, all in all, it was a fine ending to what I’m sure will be a memorable trip.

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